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Home > Publications > Gerontology & Geriatric Education Table of Contents

November 2, 2012 
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education
Volume 33, Issue 4
Engaged Scholarship and Gerontological Program Relevance: Opportunities and Challenges
Jim Mitchell and Maria McDonald
Engaged scholarship promotes contribution to the academic body of knowledge through equal partnership between academic scholars and community representatives in education, research, and public service or intervention. Such partnerships can expand our notions of service learning and applied research. In this article, the authors discuss the potential contribution of engaged scholarship to the relevance of gerontological education and research programs. The authors discuss the role of engaged scholarship in the philosophy of education, in the promotion of social justice, and its relevance for the civic responsibility and accountability of educational institutions. Finally, the authors describe benefits and barriers to participation in engaged scholarship and challenges in the recruitment of engaged scholars.
KEYWORDS:  community and academic partnerships, engaged scholarship, gerontological program justification, gerontological program relevance
An Educational Program to Assist Clinicians in Identifying Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation
Whitney L. Mills, Robert E. Roush, Jennifer Moye, Mark E. Kunik, Nancy L. Wilson, George E. Taffet, and Aanand D. Naik
Due to age-related factors and illnesses, older adults may become vulnerable to elder investment fraud and financial exploitation (EIFFE). The authors describe the development and preliminary evaluation of an educational program to raise awareness and assist clinicians in identifying older adults at risk. Participants (n = 127) gave high ratings for the program, which includes a presentation, clinician pocket guide, and patient education brochure. Thirty-five respondents returned a completed questionnaire at the
6-month follow-up, with 69% (n = 24) of those indicating use of the program materials in practice and also reporting having identified 25 patients they felt were vulnerable to EIFFE. These findings demonstrate the value of providing education and practical tools to enhance clinic-based screening of this underappreciated but prevalent problem.
KEYWORDS:  abuse, continuing education, exploitation, financial capacity
An Evaluation of an Online Postgraduate Dementia Studies Program
Anthea Innes, Fiona Kelly, and Louise Mccabe
Education is key to addressing the challenges of providing high-quality care to the ever growing number of people with dementia. Although dementia education is required for multiple professions and disciplines working with people with dementia and their families and friends, there is a gap in knowledge of students’ views about university-level online dementia education. This article reports on an evaluation, via an online questionnaire, of student views of the delivery modes and learning impact for the first online postgraduate program in Dementia Studies worldwide. The majority of our respondents (65%) reported their participation in the Dementia Studies program as broadening their thinking, with 61% reporting that it broadened their practice. Students also reported on the utility of initial face-to-face teaching and the extent to which they are able to apply their learning to practice. The article concludes by suggesting that a blended learning approach, comprising online and face-to-face teaching with an emphasis on reflexivity has the potential to meet the global demand for skilled dementia care practitioners and to create leaders in the dementia care field.
KEYWORDS:  online learning, dementia studies, student views
Training of Home Health Aides and Nurse Aides: Findings From National Data
Manisha Sengupta, Farida K. Ejaz, and Lauren D. Harris-Kojetin
Training and satisfaction with training were examined using data from nationally representative samples of 2,897 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) from the National Nursing Assistant Survey and 3,377 home health aides (HHAs) from the National Home Health Aide Survey conducted in 2004 and 2007, respectively. This article focuses on the commonalities and differences in the perceptions of CNAs and HHAs regarding the initial and continuing education they received to prepare them for their job. More than 80% of HHAs and all CNAs received some initial training. Of these, significantly more HHAs compared to CNAs felt that training had prepared them “very well” for their jobs. The two groups also differed in their assessments of the content of the initial training; for example, more CNAs believed that their training was “excellent” in helping them address patients’ limitations in activities of daily living compared to HHAs. The vast majority of HHAs and CNAs received continuing education, and about three fourths in each group assessed this training as being “very useful.” In light of the increasing demandsfor HHAs and CNAs with the aging of America, findings from these national studies could be used to inform educational and training initiatives for this critical workforce.
KEYWORDS:  continuing education, direct care workers, long-term care, training, certified nursing assistants, home health aides
Communicating With Patients Who Have Advanced Dementia: Training Nurse Aide Students
Laura E. Beer, Susan R. Hutchinson, and Kristine K. Skala-Cordes
The increase of dementia in older adults is changing how medical care is delivered. Recognizing symptoms of pain, managing behaviors, and providing quality of life for people who have advanced dementia requires a new skill set for caregivers. Researchers in this study targeted nurse aide students to test an educational module’s effect on students’ perceptions of dementia and their ability to care for patients with dementia. The results indicated the training was effective regarding nurse aides’ understanding of residual cognitive abilities and need for meaningful contact among patients with advanced dementia; however, the training was not successful in terms of nurse aides’ comfort level or perceived skills in working with this population of patients. The findings suggest a need to transform how caregivers are trained in communication techniques. Incorporating this training into nurse aide education has the potential to increase quality of life for people with dementia.
KEYWORDS:  Alzheimer’s disease, nurse aide training, patient-caregiver interactions, quality of life